Detection of forged documents and revealing of attempts for smuggling of stolen vehicles across the borders, were the key topics of the training organized in frames of the EU funded project for “Further Institution and Capacity Building of the Police Service”. This training of trainers, that took place from 20 to 24 June 2016 at the border-crossing Tabanovce, was primarily intended for representatives of the Border Police, but it also included participants from the Forensics Unit and the Sector for Traffic Affairs.
There are thousands of fraudulent travel documents in circulation and police services throughout Europe have developed effective methods how to detect them. But, considering the fact that in recent years travel documents have very high security standards, the misuse of genuine documents by illegal migrants is growing. Therefore, Border Police officers have to pay more attention when comparing the resemblance of the bearer of the document with the picture presented on it.
“Large numbers of genuine documents are stolen even before they are issued and end up being used by fraudsters. Evidence suggests that they are used not just for cross-border purposes, but in any kind of fraud where identity is an issue, such as applications to banks and other financial institutions. The identity theft and abuse of personal assets and benefits of a person, is far more serious crime,” said the leading expert and trainer, Mr. Saud Kadic, Deputy Commander of the Police Station at Ljubljana Airport.
Hence, one part of this training aimed to help border police officers broaden their knowledge about the new techniques and approaches used by fraudsters and criminals, as well as to present them with some of the basic and advanced methods used for its detection.
The second part of the training, delivered by highly experienced expert in the field, Mr. Tadej Popelar, focused on revealing attempts for smuggling of stolen vehicles. Stolen vehicles are either shipped abroad, dismantled in parts and spread across the black market, or are being altered in identification numbers and marks, and smuggled with false vehicle documents or vehicle registration.
In the course of the training the focus has been put on: methodology and procedures of vehicle inspection, alterations of vehicles identification number (VIN), review of vehicle papers, suspicious signs or objects on the vehicle, production dates of different vehicle components, detailed checks of board computers, use of national and international databases and access to manufacturers’ databases. 128 countries share their national stolen vehicle database records with INTERPOL. Police Services around the world have also developed mobile phones’ applications for stolen vehicles inquiry.
“In the EU member states, there are 1.2 million vehicles stolen each year. These thefts involve considerable damage amounting to at least EUR 15 billion per year. A large proportion of these vehicles is transported to another EU country or outside. The problem and the importance of the fight against crimes related to vehicles with cross-border implications can also be seen in action by the institutions of the EU Council. Council’s Decision from 2014 promotes the strengthening of expertise and training of law enforcement authorities in the field of crime prevention and detection of stolen vehicles. And that’s why it was important appropriate training to be delivered for representatives of the Public Security Bureau, as well,” outlined the top-notch expert and practitioner Mr. Tadej Popelar.
Trained police officers are now transferring the newly acquired knowledge and techniques to their colleagues in the respective Regional Centers for Border Affairs (North, South, East and West) through practical demonstration of the procedures on the border-crossings, and under the supervision of the two international experts Mr. Kadic and Mr. Popelar.